Sixers' sixth consecutive playoff berth remains on hold after 109-105 double-overtime loss to Bulls
Published in Basketball
PHILADELPHIA — Monday night’s loss delayed making things official.
As one of the league’s top teams for much of the season, the 76ers expect to do much more than reach the playoffs. They’re one of the contenders for the NBA title.
But things come in steps, and the Sixers missed out on taking the first one at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Chicago Bulls prevailed 109-105 in double overtime to delay the Sixers’ sixth consecutive postseason appearance. This loss came after the Sixers (48-23) honored members of their 1982-83 team for the 40th anniversary of their NBA title.
A victory would have given them more to celebrate.
But after honoring Julius ‘Dr.J’ Erving, Bobby Jones, Mo Cheeks and Co., the Sixers had their league-best eight-game winning streak snapped. The loss also dropped them to third place in Eastern Conference standings, ½ game behind second-place Boston Celtics with 11 games remaining.
In the process, Joel Embiid lost to the Bulls (34-37) for the first time in 13 games.
The MVP candidate finished with game highs of 37 points and 16 rebounds and three blocks before fouling out with 3 minutes, 54 seconds left in double-overtime. Eighteen of his points came in the third quarter.
The Sixers also got a solid performance from De’Anthony Melton. The reserve guard finished with 19 points while making 5 of 11 three-pointers.
Tyrese Maxey had 22 points. James Harden had five points, 12 assists and seven rebounds, but struggled through 2 of 12 shooting. The Sixers were also doomed by 21 turnovers.
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